This leaflet has been designed to give children, young people and their family’s instructions and precautions when using Ankle Foot Orthosis (AFO’s).
Your splint has been made especially for you and is designed to improve and/or maintain alignment and function your foot and ankle joints.
Please read the following to prevent problems related both to your comfort and to the properties of the splint.
When should you wear your splint?
- Build up wear time gradually. If you spend most of the time in standing and walking activities, start by wearing it for 30 minutes. Note any pink/red areas. Replace the splint when skin colour has returned to normal.
- Children who stand and walk intermittently or occasionally, may wear the splint(s) for 1-2 hours between skin checks.
- Double the time wearing the splint if there is no signs of redness.
When you are wearing the splint with no problems, and it can be worn comfortably for four hours, use the splint according to the instructions that your therapist gave:
- During sleep
- Daytime, all the time
- Daytime, as needed
- Night & day all the time, except for exercise and hygiene
Change socks often enough to keep the skin dry. Use only cotton socks to reduce skin irritation, due to perspiration. (During the summer talcum powder/foot antiperspirant and changing socks more frequently if needed).
When should you stop wearing your splint?
Please stop using the splint and contact your orthotist or physiotherapist immediately if you notice any of the following:
- Pressure areas (red spots that do not go away in 20-30 minutes).
- Broken (missing parts) of splint
- Blister or skin breakdown
When will a new splint be needed?
This depends on the growth of the child. As a general rule:
- When the child’s toes get to the edge of the splint.
- The top of the splint is more than 3 fingers width below the knee.
- If discomfort/marking begins to occur in new place.
Remember to check that the heel is properly back in the splint before checking length and toe space at front.
How do I take care of my splint?
It is important to take good care of your splint. The splint, with the exception of the leather parts, should be wiped with a cloth dampened in mild soap and water and thoroughly dried. It is best to do this at night so that it will be completely dry before it is put on in the morning.
Your splint will have been fitted to a particular heel height of shoe. You must only wear shoes of similar height and never over 1 inch.
How do I take care of my skin?
- Check the skin condition of your foot and leg every day for red or broken areas.
- Wash your skin with mild soap and water every day or more often if sweating heavily. Before putting on the splint, remember to dry the foot/leg thoroughly.
- You should wear a thin sock between the skin and plastic to help absorb any sweat.
If you have any problems with splints not fitting correctly or getting too small please contact you Orthotic department or your physiotherapist.
- Queen Margaret Hospital Tel: 01383 674128
- Victoria Hospital Tel: 01592 643355 Ext 28345
If you require this information in a community language or alternative format e.g. Braille, audio, large print, BSL, Easy Read please contact the Equality and Human Rights Team at: email: fife.EqualityandHumanRights@nhs.scot or phone 01592 729130. For people with a hearing or verbal impairment you can also contact the team via the NHS Fife SMS text service number on 07805800005.
You can also find health related information on many topics in an Easy Read format on nhsinform.scot.